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Trump ready to help some NATO states buy U.S. arms

13 Juillet 2018

"They all made commitments, and they will be up to 2 percent over a relatively short period".

Politico said Trump warned of "grave consequences" if the allies did not immediately meet the 2 per cent spending targets.

He linked calls for higher defence spending to complaints about Germany's trade surplus and renewed a threat to raise tariffs on EU-made cars if trade terms do not change.

Trump did not directly answer questions about whether he had threatened to take the U.S. out of the alliance, saying he "told people I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially".

After taking a firm stance both days of the conference, which included calling Germany a "captive" of Russian energy, Trump did say USA commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation remains strong and he thanked other members for "additional money they are putting up".

Former NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said on paper the summit was a success because of binding commitments to present a plan for increased defense spending and the development of the long-awaited Southern Strategy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had been talking about Germany spending 1.5 percent of GDP by 2024, recommitted to spending 2 percent spending by that date, the official said.

"He's been very nice to me the times I've met him".

"But ultimately he is a competitor".

TRUMP: "One of the states we won, Wisconsin _ I didn't even realize this until fairly recently - that was the one state that Ronald Reagan didn't win when he ran the board his second time". "Hopefully some day he will be a friend". The only thing that was maybe a bit more specific in the press conference that he just gave was that he indicated that he had persuaded them to increase their defense budget faster than they had initially planned to.

He also vowed to raise allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, amid an ongoing USA investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow.

Trump had spent his time in Brussels berating members of the military alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defense, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were attacked.

When the summit resumed for a session with the leaders of non-members Ukraine and Georgia, Trump failed to appear for almost an hour, officials said.

Warner said he's concerned the US "President can be taken advantage of" by Putin, and that if a meeting cannot have additional attendees it should be scrapped.

On Friday, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II and then spend the weekend at one of his private golf courses in Scotland.

He triggered an emergency session on the spending issue, before emerging from the turmoil to say "I believe in Nato" in response to reports that he had threatened to pull out.

"It is a new reality, and you have to look past both spelling and factual mistakes and take Trump serious when he barrels forward with his Twitter", Samuelsen said, according to Politico.

LIASSON: Well, a huge meeting with Vladimir Putin that the president downplayed today.

"They're here as a prime minister or as a president, and they can't necessarily go in and say, 'This is what we're going to do.' But they're going back for approvals", Trump said, acknowledging the political realities. Or were there some European leaders who were really anxious about a bite and anxious that the United States was really not going to stay the, you know, strong force in this alliance?

But Mr Macron said his U.S. counterpart had not threatened to leave, insisting: "President Trump never at any moment, either in public or in private, threatened to withdraw".

Still, Trump has been more conciliatory behind the scenes, including at a leaders' dinner Wednesday.

Trump ready to help some NATO states buy U.S. arms